I have built a few rods, but I always just buy the kits that include everything (the blank, grip, reel seat, guides, tip top, etc). I'd like to be able to pick and choose what components I want, but the sizing is freaking me out. My questions are like this:
If the butt diameter is .52, do I need buy a butt cap that matches that, or is bigger?
If the tip is "4", do I need to order a size 4 tip top? Or bigger?
Are all measurements on a site like Mudhole using the same metric system?
If I wanted to do a split grip, how do I order the correct sizes of grips, reel seat, and winding checks that will match the diameter at the proper points?
What other questions am I not asking that you can anticipate me needing to know the answer to?
I know this is a lot, so thanks for your time!
I used to ask myself the same things starting out, and through trial and error.. keyword error
. I found some things that are very helpful to me.
As a general rule buy bigger unless you have a way to ream out the part to fit where you want it to, because you can always create an arbor with masking tape or find a way to make it work when applying epoxy.
ex: .25" inside diameter cork or eva can be reamed to fit a .65" rod blank.
Tip Tops order .5 bigger; "5" rod tip order "5.5" tip top; a 5 either won't fit at all or will be too tight to have any glue fit in it.
MHX provides a great dimension chart that I use when building their blanks for exposed seats and winding checks. http://www.mudhole.com/assets/images/content/MHX-Dimensions-Winding-Checks-Exposed-Seats.pdf
You will inevitably buy a wrong sized reel seat or winding check but don't let that scare you. It's all a learning process and you will make mistakes, but that is how you learn and get better.
Most all the big rod building suppliers have great customer service and are more than willing to help you out.
If you're not against paying twice for shipping you can always order the blank first and take measurements of the blank with a caliper.
Good luck with the builds and feel free to DM if you have any other questions. Tight Lines!!